Skip to main content

Full text of "Alyonushka Little Brother Ivanushka"

See other formats








nee upon a time there lived an old man and an 
old woman, and they had a daughter named 
Alyonushka and a little brother named 
Ivanushka. 

The two old people died, and Alyonushka and Ivanushka 
were left all alone. 

One day Alyonushka set out to work in the field and she 
took Ivanushka with her. They had a long way to go and a 
wide field to cross, and after a while Ivanushka felt very 
thirsty. 

“I’m dreadfully thirsty, Sister Alyonushka!” he said. 

“Wait, little brother, we’re sure to come to a well soon,” 
Alyonushka replied. 

On they went. They walked and they walked. They felt 
very hot and weary too, but it couldn’t be helped, as well they 
knew, for the sun burned bright but no well was in sight. 

By and by they came upon a cow’s hoof filled with water. 

“I think I’ll drink a little water out of the hoof, 
Alyonushka,” Ivanushka said. 

“Oh no, you mustn’t do that, little brother, or you’ll turn 
into a calf.” 

Ivanushka obeyed and on they walked. They felt very hot 
and weary too, but it couldn’t be helped, as well they knew, 
for the sun burned bright but no well was in sight. 




By and by they came upon a horse’s hoof filled with water. 

“I think I’ll drink a little water out of the hoof, 
Alyonushka,” Ivanushka said. 

“Oh no, you mustn’t do that, little brother, or you’ll turn 
into a foal.” 

Ivanushka sighed, but there was nothing to be done so on 
they walked. 

They felt very hot and weary too, but it couldn’t be helped, 
as well they knew, for the sun burned bright but no well was in 
sight. 

By and by they came upon a goat’s hoof filled with water. 

“I must have some water, Alyonushka, I can’t bear it any 
longer! v Ivanushka said. 

“Oh no, you mustn’t drink it, little brother, or you’ll turn 
into a kid.” 

But Ivanushka disobeyed. He drank some water from the 
goat’s hoof, and no sooner had he done so than he turned into 
a little white goat. 

Alyonushka called to her brother, but instead of Ivanushka 
the Little White Goat came running up to her. 

Alyonushka burst out crying. She sat down on the ground 
by a stack of hay and she wept and sobbed, and the Little 
White Goat skipped round playfully. 




Just then who should chance 
to come riding by but a Mer- 
chant. 

“What are you crying for, 
bonny lass?” he asked. 

Alyonushka told him of her 
trouble, and the Merchant said: 

“Be my wife, bonny lass! I 
will dress you in gold and silver, 
and the Little White Goat will 
live with us.” 

Alyonushka thought it over 
and agreed to marry the Mer- 
chant. 

They were married soon after 
and they lived together very hap- 
pily, and the Little White Goat 
lived with them and ate and 
drank out of Alyonushka’s own 
cup. 

One day the Merchant hap- 
pened to be away, and all of a 
sudden as if out of nowhere a 
witch appeared. She came up to 





Alyonushka’s window and beg- 
ged her ever so sweetly to go 
bathing in the river with her. 

Alyonushka agreed, and the 
Witch led her to the river, but 
when they got there, she fell 
upon her, tied a stone round her 
neck and threw her into the 
water. Then she made herself 
look just like Alyonushka, dres- 
sed herself in Alyonushka’s 
clothes and went to her house 
instead, of her. No one guessed 
who she was, not even the Mer- 
chant who came home soon 
after. 

Only the Little White Goat 
knew what had happened. He 
hung his head and refused to 
touch food or drink. He never 
left the river bank, morning or 
evening, and, standing at the 
water’s edge, called out: 

“Alyonushka, my sister, can you hear me? 
Swim out to me, swim out to me.” 






The Witch learned about this 
and she asked her husband the 
Merchant to slaughter the Little 
White Goat. 

Now, the Merchant was loath 
to do this, for he had grown fond 
of the Little White Goat and felt 
sorry for him. But the Witch 
kept at him day and night, she 
coaxed and she wheedled, and he 
gave in at last. 

“You do away with him your- 
self,” he said. 

The Witch then had big fires 
made up, huge pots heated and 
great knives sharpened. 

Learning that he had not long 
to live, the Little White Goat 
said to the Merchant: 

“You have been like a father 
to me. Heed my last wish and let 
me go to the river before I die, 
to have a drink of water.” 







The Merchant let him go, and the Little White Goat ran to 
the river, stood on the bank and called out in piteous tones: 

“Alyonushka, my sister, can you hear me? 

Swim out to me, swim out to me. 

Big fires are blazing, 

Huge pots are boiling. 

Great knives are gleaming, 

Ready to slaughter me.” 

And Alyonushka called back to him out of the river: 

“Ivanushka, my brother, can you hear me? 

A heavy stone presses down on me. 

Silken grasses entangle my legs, 

Yellow sands lie on my breast.” 

The Witch went to look for the Little White Goat, but she 
could not find him, so she sent a servant in search of him. 
“Bring the Little White Goat to me!” she said. 

The servant went to the river, and what did he see but the 
Little White Goat running up and down the bank and calling 
in piteous tones: 

“Alyonushka, my sister, can you hear me? 

Swim out to me, swim out to me. 

Big fires are blazing. 

Huge pots are boiling, 

Great knives are gleaming, 

Ready to slaughter me.” 

And from the river came the reply: 

“Ivanushka, my brother, can you hear me? 

A heavy stone presses down on me. 

Silken grasses entangle my legs, 

Yellow sands lie on my breast.” 




The servant ran home and told the Merchant what he had 
heard and seen. People gathered, they went down to the river 
and, casting a silken net, dragged Alyonushka out onto the 
bank. They removed the stone that was round her neck, dipped 
her in fresh water taken from a spring and dressed her in pretty 
clothes. Alyonushka came back to life, and she looked more 
beautiful than ever. 

And the Little White Goat was so happy that he turned 
three somersaults, and lo and behold! — he turned into Little 
Ivanushka once again. 

And as for the wicked Witch, she was tied to a horse’s tail, 
and the horse was turned loose in an open field. 





ALYONUSHKA 

AND HER UTILE BROTHER 
IVANUSHKA 


A Russian Folk Tale 
Illustrated by T. She vary ova 
Translated by Irina Zheleznova 

Malysh Publishers 
Moscow 

Printed in the USSR 

© H3!. M 3A*T C.1HCTB3 -MlUlblUI-